Why We Created a Patreon Page

Why We Created a Patreon PageIt was two years ago when a friend, social entrepreneur, and Impactathon Impact Talk speaker said, “Innov8social should make a page.” Well, Nathan, it took a second, but we created a Patreon page!

What is Patreon?

For the uninitiated, Patreon is a platform where readers, listeners, and fans can support their content creators through memberships and subscriptions. It’s a way to value the work of content creators while creating a community of engaged fans and supporters. Content creators––ranging indie musicians, graphic artists, writers, podcast hosts––have been seen, heard, validated, and enabled to continue creating content.


Why we created a Patreon page

For the past eight years, through blog posts, podcast episodes, online resources, and convenings, we have been creating content and experiences with the mission of making social entrepreneurship more actionable and accessible. We have avoided including ads on the website, blog or in the podcast.

The timing felt right to create a way to both validate and value our work and create a new way to connect with our community–our tribe.

“Fail fast,” they say. And they usually say “fail forward” within the same sentence. In the spirit of those tenets of lean entrepreneurship, the Patreon page is also a way to receive a response to the overarching question. is it working? I.e. are we making meaningful strides in the direction of our mission. Are we creating content that matters to anyone.

There is a goal of 500 subscribers which will lead to the creation of a “Where are they now” type of series with past podcast guests. It is a goal post that seems football yards away today, but is an objective measure by which to track validation.

Just as many of us are becoming informed consumers or conscious consumers by voting with our dollars for the goods, services, and foods we choose to use, engage, eat, and champion; so too do we ‘vote’ when we chose to spend time reading, listening, liking and sharing online content. Supporting a content creator on a platform like Patreon, takes ‘mission-driven content consumption’ one step further, by giving value to content.

Value and valuation, as we know, are terms of art to some degree. A share price, a consulting fee, worth of currency or cryptocurrency all involve our belief in the worth of something.

In the social impact sector, content creators, conveners, and ‘social impact ecosystem builders’ (of which we include ourselves) are often asked to work for free. I.e., sending the message that we do not have value within the system. We cannot create a place to stand, and for future social impact leaders to stand, unless we see our work as valuable. And while the first step is seeing value in our work, it can only be validated by others. By you.

All of that to say, the reason we created a Patreon page is because we believe what we do is valuable. And, whether you are taking your first step within the social impact sector or have been in the space for decades, we invite you to become our champion.

We are grateful to Patreon, to our community, and you for taking the time to read this. Thank you!


We are in a profound moment of polarity.

We see it in the news, where the polar ends of political, religious, cultural, gender-conscious, racially-aware spectra voice their opinions with fury, feist, and without apology.

For those of us who see ourselves as problemsolvers driven by impact, we may feel overwhelmed and even momentarily paralyzed by the din of feuding opinions, the viscidity in reaching common ground and commonly-held beliefs. Where delivering and distributing social impact has often been associated within the purview of government and agencies, a new reality leaves these channels for impact less available and less accessible for those purposes.

However, those championing inclusion, innovation, and gamechanging innovation still have an important lever to pull. Business. Specifically, impact-driven business.

Social entrepreneurship has never been more important than it is right now.

Divisiveness around the role of government to support citizens, by default, seems to favor business, scaling, and job creation as measures of success.

Fortunately, changemakers have also increasingly been tinkering with business as a medium for change over the past decade or longer. This exploration has resulted in the passage of new legal structures including benefit corporations and social purpose corporations in over 32 states and jurisdictions that solidify the legal precedence of for-impact + for-profit companies. It has also led to creative and adaptive business models that seek to prioritize impact and account for impact. And, the foray into business practices is paving new ways of measuring and reporting impact; so that our accounting of social impact is not abstract and anecdotal, but a measurable means of evaluating success. This field of championing social impact and business is maturing as new kinds of capital-raising–including impact investing, community notes, and crowdfunding–are letting investors choose where their money grows and rests.

We realize that far from immobile, we are finding new muscles and new ways to move, connect, fly. Far from overwhelmed, we are building the scaffolding for a future that hasn’t been fully envisioned and architected.

Can social entrepreneurship be a common language?

It bares question whether, in this moment of polarity, we can turn to business as a common language.

Fortunately, social entrepreneurs not only speak the language but have become experienced in bridging gaps of knowledge and resources toward cultivating communities of conscious consumers, investors, and achieving new milestones in success.

We are seeing that beyond language, social entrepreneurship is a mindset. One that individuals across aisles, across industries, and across business and enterprise can adopt to create change and inclusion in their own ecosystems.

To be an effective way to express and empower impact, we need broader and deeper engagement in social entrepreneurship.

I have spent the better part of six years, since founding Innov8social, on the path of exploring, sharing, and building ways to make social entrepreneurship more actionable accessible. Spanning blog posts, podcast episodes, a book, live events, and now, consulting–I feel my personal life’s work entwined with this work of inviting, educating, and helping launch social entrepreneurs.

Here are steps I have found helpful in feeling more comfortable to create and grow as social entrepreneurs:

  1. Learn what social entrepreneurship is
  2. Define the impact you seek to make
  3. Understand the legal options for formation and fundraising
  4. Explore (and invent) business models
  5. Measure social impact, and the effects of the absence of social impact
  6. Tell a compelling story and share it personally and professionally
  7. Lead with empathy, clarity, and with impact-aligned team members
  8. Raise capital that fits your goals and your impact
  9. Always remember that we are problem-solvers first. Be ready to problemsolve thoughtfully and often
  10. Build your networks big and small–that serve to challenge you, empower you, and give you a forum of inviting others into the space and empowering their success

Social entrepreneurship will not reach its potential to create impact and shift the norms of business as a spectator sport. As millennials, Gen Z, and “Zoomers” look to start businesses and engage in meaningful work–I have little doubt that we will discover new ways of delivering impact through the medium of business.


Neetal Parekh is the founder of Innov8social, author 51 Questions on Social Entrepreneurship, host of The Impact Podcast, and convener of Impactathon. She consults with social entrepreneurs, companies, and institutions to help them reach their impact potential. On Twitter and social media: @innov8social

Walk of Hope

It’s Day 27 of our 30 Day Podcast Project. In this special episode, I interview dear friends Christine (Tina) and Mathew who are back in the US after spending much of the past 16 months walking 7500km (or 4600 miles) in Walk of Hope, from the southern India to northern India. The walk was part of the vision of spiritual leader Sri M to engage with people in India, invite unique communities to experience the country, and share a joint spirit of universality, inclusion, and hope.


Listen to the Podcast Episode

Meet Christine Joseph and Mathew Abraham

My friends, who were married in South India a few years back, were moved by hearing Sri M speak and reading his book. So moved, that they rearranged their work, life, and travel to be able to join the walk for months at a time. They walked through over a dozen states in India and met millions along the way.
The objectives of the walk were outlined as:

  • Interfaith Harmony
  • Equality for All
  • Sustainable Living
  • Women Empowerment
  • Community Health
  • Education & Youth Development

Show Notes

Here are a few articles mentioned in this episode.

More About Walk of Hope

  • Website:
  • Value Proposition: “Walk of Hope is a padayatra for peace and harmony, covering 7500 kms from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, led by Sri M, founder of Manav Ekta Mission.”

In this series of unique episodes, we meet Tony Loyd, host of Social Entrepreneur Podcast and CEO of Culture Shift Companies. We learn about his unique journey, path, and perspective into social entrepreneurship and why he feels it holds so much potential for the future.  And, instead of the usual interview format, in these episodes, we take a “podcaster to podcaster” approach by asking  each other questions and share our honest thoughts about everything from how we became interested in the space, to collaboration v. competition, and the importance of authenticity.

Listen to the Podcast Episodes 

Meet Tony Loyd

Over the past year, Tony Loyd has become a valued thinker, contributor, and facilitator of social entrepreneurship. His path and journey, spanning executive roles at large corporations to coaching leaders and entrepreneurs, along with his personal consciousness journey have led him to not only see immense value in the intersection between entrepreneurship and social impact, but also to find clarity about his role and purpose to support the movement.

His purpose? To help compassionate people gain the clarity, confidence and courage they need to commit to being a changemaker.

Tony Loyd has provided leadership to Fortune 500 and mid-size organizations for over 25 years. He has extensive experience working with senior executive leaders to direct global initiatives that align talent solutions to corporate goals. Through his innovative approaches, he has enabled his clients to achieve significant improvements in processes, productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction while reducing costs and improving bottom line results.

Tony is currently the Host of Social Entrepreneur where he spends his time with changemakers who are making an impact on the world.  Social Entrepreneur has aired over 90 episodes including interviews with Bill Drayton of Ashoka, and leaders at RSF Social Finance, Noora Health, Ogunte, and many more.

Before launching Social Entrepreneur, Tony worked with global brands such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Medtronic, Diversey and John Deere. He has conducted strategic planning, led organizational design, created talent management strategy and conducted high potential development workshops. Tony created the learning strategy and led the start-up and operation of two world-class corporate universities. Tony has directed the development of up to 120,000 personnel in sixty countries. His breakthrough ideas enabled companies to dramatically increase worldwide training participation, while transforming the training organization from a cost center to a revenue neutral operation.

Show Notes

Here are a few articles mentioned in this episode.


More About Tony Loyd & Social Entrepreneur Podcast

  • Website:
  • Value Proposition: “To help compassionate people gain the clarity, confidence and courage they need to commit to being a changemaker.

More About Culture Shift



In this episode, you will meet Chase Norlin, a longtime Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of Transmosis, a workforce accelerator. Learn the story behind this mission-driven startup that provides technology training, externship, and placement services to public workforce systems, educational institutions, State and Federal governments.

Listen to the Podcast Episode 

Meet Chase Norlin

Chase Norlin is the CEO of Transmosis, an organization founded by Silicon Valley Technology Entrepreneurs dedicated to the research and application of technology to improve and strengthen the American workforce.

Previously Norlin was the founder and CEO of Emerge Digital Group (EDG), named the 8th fastest growing company in Americaand the #1 fastest growing company in Silicon Valley by Inc. Magazine based on revenue growth. EDG was a holding company for a portfolio of digital marketing businesses that Norlin founded and grew to $50mm in revenue in three years.  EDG was one of the first advertising technology companies which executed a broad and aggressive roll-up strategy resulting in domestic and international acquisitions. These assets have been divested, merged, spun-out, or acquired.

Norlin was Founder and CEO of Pixsy, a pioneer in video search funded by TVGuide-Gemstar (now Rovi), and served as senior executive at ValueClick (now Conversant) where he managed publisher development for the display advertising network, paid search, and comparison shopping divisions. Prior to ValueClick Norlin held the position of Senior Consultant to InfoSpace (now Blucora).

A veteran of the Internet industry, Norlin developed Sony’s first online photo sharing venture, founded the first online video sharing company, and served as new venture consultant in launching Boeing’s online video and image licensing division. Norlin is a a noted speaker on digital advertising, entrepreneurship, and American labor and recent engagements include the Goldman Sachs Global Media Conference, Bloomberg Media Summit, and the Monaco Media Forum.


Show Notes

Here are a few articles mentioned in this episode.

More About Transmosis

  • Website:
  • Value Proposition: “Transmosis is an organization founded by Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs dedicated to the research and application of technology to strengthen the American workforce.

Meet Solène Pignet, a French born business graduate who moved to Turkey and launched an online global consulting firm focused on supporting sustainable business entrepreneurs. She is a facilitator, author, and enabler of social enterprise globally!

Listen to the Podcast Episode 

Meet Solène Pignet

Solène Pignet is a strategist for global citizen entrepreneurs, founder of Creators for Good

A globetrotter, committed to sustainable development and passionate about alternative entrepreneurship, Solène founded Creators for Good in 2014.

Creators for Good offers 1-to1 accelerator programs, to help individuals find and validate their impactful and sustainable idea, launch their own alternative business efficiently, as well as reach break-even rapidly.


Show Notes

Here are a few articles mentioned in this episode.

More About Creators for Good

  • Website:
  • Value Proposition: “Helping value-driven individuals around the world transition from successful-yet-unfulfilling careers to create their own profitable & impactful business.

Listen to the Interview


Meet Frankie Picasso 


Frankie Picasso wears many hats and has had many iterations. She is best known as a radio host, best selling author, artist, certified hypnotherapist, certified Master Coach Trainer. In previous roles, she also managed a World Kickboxing Champion and was the first female kickboxing promoter.
Today as a social entrepreneur for The Good Radio Network, Frankie is establishing connections and business models that benefit social and community needs. She is passionate about recognizing those who are changing the world and establishing a network that strengthens the work these individuals are doing.
The Good Radio Network is the legacy project that Frankie is building to ensure that every minute of the day the Radio Station is an instrument of change for those in need..

More About Frankie Picasso


More About The Good Radio Network

  • Website:
  • Value proposition: The Good Radio Network advocates for a socially conscious and purposeful world. Through a talk radio station, it encourages action through engagement.



It is Day 4 of our speak week of daily podcast episodes in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today you get to meet one of our favorite San Francisco-based social entrepreneurs who has been successfully running, growing, and pivoting her business for over four years.


Listen to the Podcast Episode

Meet Heather Scott Arora

Heather is the founding CEO of Purple Plant and has bootstrapped the company since starting it in 2011. She is a recognized expert in product development, customer experience, workplace culture, wellness programs, sales and leadership.

As Founder and CEO, Heather has successfully built full-time “in house” smoothie bars at the University of San Francisco and Square Headquarters. She has developed long-standing  catering relationships and partnerships with companies including DataSift, Yammer, Skype, Craigslist, Tagged, box, Macys, Hotel Tonight, RocketFuel & many more.

Purple Plant is dedicated to hiring and training employees in nutrition and creating pathways for them to becoming professional dietitians and nutritionists. It builds full wellness offerings tailored to millennials, through healthy smoothie bar services.



More About Heather Scott Arora

More About Purple Plant Blends

  • Website:
  • Value proposition: “Purple Plant is a nutrition focused, interactive wellness program using full, on-site smoothie bars as the vehicle to create a happy, healthy and vibrant workplace.”
  • Purple Plants on Facebook

Show Notes

Here’s a photo (and article) showing Purple Plants Blend’s start as a stand at the weekly Farmer’s Market

Purple Plant Blends Farmer's Market Stand

Listen to the Interview with GoVoluntr

Meet the GoVoluntr Team: Young, MJ, Kevin, Stephen, Jonathan

GoVoluntr Team

This episode of The Innov8social Podcast features a unique interview. We sit down with the GoVolunteer team including: Young Han, MJ Fogelstrom, Kevin Zittle, Stephen Snyder, and Jonathan Gonzalez for an open discussion about challenges and realities successful early-stage social entrepreneurs face when growing and scaling their impact ideas and startups. Listen in to hear their stories of each of their journeys into the social impact space, the work of GoVoluntr, and the hackathon and big thinking that led to GoVoluntr’s current crowdfunding efforts.

GoVoluntr is a social network that connects volunteers, nonprofits, and businesses together into an engaging community of Do Goodrs. They match individuals with volunteer opportunities and track their service hours through our VID (Volunteer ID) system. GoVoluntr also works with local businesses to provide rewards for volunteers and also to offer company programs for employee volunteerism.



Find Out More


More About Young, MJ, Kevin, Stephen, and Jonathan

More About GoVoluntr

  • Website:
  • Value proposition: “GoVoluntr is a social network that connects volunteers, non-profits, and businesses together into an engaging community of Do Goodrs.” GoVoluntr connects volunteers with volunteer opportunities, lets volunteers track their hours, and gamifies volunteerism by offering rewards provided by local businesses.
  • Employee Volunteer Program, GoVoluntr program to engage businesses and employees with volunteerism
  • Article in Content Magazine- “Professional DoGoodrs: How GoVoluntr is Making a Difference”
  • Register and start volunteering

More About How to Support GoVoluntr Version 3.0

  • Contribute to the crowdfunding effort!
  • Watch the video:


Here’s a behind-the-scenes video from recording the interview! Enjoy :)




Are you a student or teacher in your field? For social entrepreneurs there can be great value in being both, even simultaneously.

In the past month, I have had the unique opportunity to engage as a speaker, attendee, pitch judge, pitch participant, interviewer, interviewee, mentor, and mentee–and all within the realm of social entrepreneurship. It has been incredible. And, it has provided a unique lense to see synchronicity in these seemingly divergent roles.

Social Entrepreneurs are Novices and Experts

Social entrepreneurship as a whole is a kind of dance between being a novice and expert. With (often) low barriers to entry and high turnover, it’s common to two-step into, out of, and around the space. Add to that experience in specific areas of impact, measurement, traction of customers, raising funds, and/or surviving pitfalls—and a social entrepreneur is recognized for being able to share her valuable learned insight in the space. However, even a slight pivot to serve another market or need and the social entrepreneur is back in the familiar role of novice–humbly seeking expertise, financial backing, and searching for ways to turn a particular idea into reality.

This back and forth is actually a great thing. It keeps social entrepreneurs (and those who serve them) on their toes to constantly be learning and sharing, can instill a sense of humility, and can act as a key equalizer in bringing new and seasoned entrepreneurs to the same table.

I learned so much by pitching to VC’s as a social enterprise and then gained clarity of what an investor looks for when I judged social entrepreneur pitches. I was able to pass on these perspectives with the genuine empathy of having been on both sides, when I mentored aspiring social entrepreneurs as they prepared to pitch their social enterprise startup ideas. Each role not only provided ways to understand and empathize with different vantage points—each contributed to thinking bigger about the work and vision for Innov8social.

Social Entrepreneurs are Problemsolvers First

This ability to ‘toggle’ between the roles of receiving and sharing knowledge is particularly key in social entrepreneurship because it focuses our attention not on who we are, but what we are trying to solve. Beyond aspects such as legal structure and business models, social enterprises are unique because they pursue dual goals of creating impact and generating revenue. These dual goals, in turn, involve a multitude of variables. And like solving for and y in Algebra, we are forced to shift focus from who we are to how we can most effectively problemsolve.

Be a Teacher, Student….and Keep Moving Forward

This is the synchronicity of being both teacher and student. Stepping between the roles lets us loosen our sense of self and ego to recognize that problem identification and problem-solving come from anywhere, and everywhere. It lets us focus on educating ourselves on what we don’t know, and then sharing that experience with those addressing the problem through different lenses. The growth of social entrepreneurship depends on its practitioners as receiving and sharing in equal parts. We must be teachers, be students, rinse and repeat.

Our role is to honor our experience in the space as we honor the experience of others, to share what we learn, to ask for help, and above all—to keep moving forward.

A Photo Recap From the Past Month